Students share tips to protect hair against humid weather

Amber Mohmand

While a hot summer can be the dream for some students, it can be a nightmare for those with hair susceptible to the humidity. The humidity causes unwanted frizz, leading people to opt in for an indoor activity or the typical top-knot hairstyle. 

The chemical structure of human hair can make it incredibly susceptible to the amount of hydrogen in the hair, which is directly linked to humidity according to the Smithsonian.

The right towel can impact the texture of your hair – the material is supposed to absorb all the moisture. Wet hair tends to be more fragile, so a soft material such as microfiber towel or even an old t-shirt can help to prevent frizziness and breakage.

“I always use a cotton T-shirt or microfiber towel, and scrunch the water out, never rub ⁠— as it can cause friction and breakage,” said Micayla Applegate, a junior in English at Iowa State. “I also don’t recommend twisting your hair into a towel, as that can pull and cause breakage. If that’s someone’s go-to, they should put their hair in a very loose hair tie and wrap it with the ponytail against their head instead of twisted into the top knot.”

The technique of drying your hair can impact the frizz as well. It is important to be gentle rather than rough.

“Let your hair air dry, or diffuse it with product in it,” said Morgan Strohman, a hair stylist for Bella Hair Salon. “If you want or need to blow out your hair, use a boar bristle brush while directing the heat downwards with a concentrator. The concentrator will help your hair strands lay flat.”

Products, such as shampoos and conditioners with smoothing components, can also have an impact on how your hair behaves with humidity. Products with added moisture can smooth down the hair cuticles to keep it in its natural state.

“When you have texture in your hair, any moisture in the air will make your hair want to revert back to its normal ‘textured state’, so you want to give it lots of moisture and product to keep the cuticle smooth and sealed to prevent frizz,” Strohman said.

Applegate said she personally stays away from products with silicones — as it can weigh the hair down — and sulfates that strip the natural oils from her hair. 

Brandon Caligiuri, a freshman in event management at Iowa State, said he tries to find products to hold his hair’s desired texture throughout the day.

“I always have a hat and a travel size can of hairspray near me to control my hair when it becomes uncontrollable,” Caligiuri said.

To style your hair, work with your texture of your hair to have it function during humid days, utilizing accessories and braiding are some styles to use, according to Glamour Magazine.